I opened up the Health office and motioned towards the chair. Collin sat down in it. I grabbed the thermometer and the otoscope. Jake sat outside the office on the carpet, resting his back against the wall.
“So you have a headache, Collin?”
“Wicked bad, Nurse Anne!” Collin said as he massaged his temples.
“How’s that ear of yours?”
“Much better.” I popped the thermometer in his mouth.
“Let me have a look.” I peered in and was surprised to see that his punctured eardrum was almost completely sealed up. “Wow! It looks great! That’s a huge improvement.”
“So can I stop coming up for the antibiotics?” Collin mumbled around the thermometer.
“Absolutely not. We continue them as directed until they are done. You want to ensure that the infection is completely gone. And continue to stay out of the water.”
“OK.” Collin said as the thermometer beeped. His temperature was normal.
“Well you don’t have a fever, so that’s good. No sore throat?” I asked as I felt for lymph nodes. Collin shook his head. “No cough or cold symptoms?” Collin shook his head again. I had Collin open his mouth and looked at his posterior pharynx. “Why do you think you have a headache?”
“Nurse Anne!? Did you not hear the horrible racket at dinner?”
I laughed. “I sure did.”
“That’s why my head hurts! That was brutal!” Collin said in disgust.
“Agreed! It was brutal. Well let’s just go ahead and have you take your evening dose of antibiotic now and I will add a dose of acetaminophen too, for the headache. Does that sound good?”
“Yes. Thank you.” Collin said as I pulled out his Amoxicillin and then found the acetaminophen.
“How was your Visitor’s Day?” I asked as he took the pills I offered him and then filled a Dixie cup with water.
“Really good. My parents took me into town and I had a large ice cream cone, and a chocolate bar and a ginormous bag of chips.” He swallowed the pills.
“Oh! Nice.” I responded, wondering if the huge bag of chips might also have contributed to the headache.
“And then they gave me a huge bag of candy to last me the rest of the week!”
“Did you hand that bag of candy in, Collin?” Jake asked from his spot in the hallway.
“Not yet.” Collin said as he grimaced. “I will though. I promise.”
“We need to check for ‘may contain’.” Jake said as he stuck his head in around the doorway referring to any peanut products.
“I know. I know.” Collin said as he rolled his eyes.
“It is pretty important. Collin. We do have someone at camp who is deathly allergic to peanut products.” I told him.
“Deathly?” Collin said, astonished.
“Yup.” I said. “A peanut exposure could cause the airway to close and the camper would suffocate.”
“What does that mean?”
“Smother. Like, when you can’t breathe. Imagine if you pinched your nose and covered your mouth.”
“Holy crap! Are you serious, Nurse Anne?” Collin said as his eyebrows shot up and his eye widened.
“No joke Collin.”
“I didn’t know that is what happened. That sounds pretty scary.”
“It would be terrifying, no doubt!” I said as I considered how terrifying it would be for me, as a caregiver, to have to manage a situation like that.
“OK. I will get my bag of candy right now.” Collin said as he tossed his paper cup in the garbage can.
“Bring it to me, OK Collin?” Jake said as he got up.
“Thanks Jake.” I said as I watched Collin go through the stairwell doorway.
“Welcome.” He said as he got up and started towards the stairwell.
“Good luck tonight!” I told Jake.
“With what?” Jake said as he looked back at me, confused.
“You know, the hut patrols. The panty raid.” I said with concern. The thought of it kinda creeped me out.
“Oh ya, that.” Jake responded and started towards the door and then stopped. I turned back into the office to write a note. “Uh…Nurse Anne?” Jake said to me.
“Ya?” I said as I turned back to him.
“I was just…yanking your chain.” Jake said and his face reddened.
“You were…what?” I said confused. I shook my head.
“I was kidding about the panty raid.” Jake grinned.
“You were?!” My mouth was gaping open. I couldn’t believe it. He had me convinced! Hook, line and sinker! “You totally had me, Jake.”
“Just messing with you!” Jake said as then bent over laughing. “I can’t believe you fell for it!” He guffawed and slapped at his knee.
I still stood there slack jawed. “So…there was no infamous panty raid of 1987?”
“Nooooo!” Jake cackled.
I watched Jake busting a gut and that’s when an evil plan for revenge was planted in my soul.